Proverbs 6:20-22 – “My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; 21 Bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you.” NASU
The Book of Proverbs says much about wisdom, knowledge, instruction, and obedience and unfortunately, we often make it a “Promise Box Book” in the Bible rather than connecting the dots and gleaning the full message and teaching. These three verses are part of a much larger message but let me try to glean a beautiful truth from them and later we can step back and view the bigger picture.
It is interesting that the writer would use “the commandment of your father” and “the teaching or statute of your mother” in his counsel. It appears that the idea presented is that the father’s instruction is like a line drawn in the sand or an arrow shot at a target and the instruction of the mother is like that of a schoolmaster. One is black and white and the other deals with precepts and principles. This, in my view, is a recognition of the difference in the methodology of men and women and the need for both for the instruction to become embedded in the heart to the point that it becomes a part of the thinking and nature of the student. We need both the “do this and this” as well as “this is why we do this and this” for the message to resonate to the point of changing the heart and the mind.
He then says, “bind them continually on your heart; and tie them around your neck.” That is a visual of keeping those teachings in constant view. The heart of hearts is where our change comes and if we take those lessons, precepts, and principles taught us and keep them “in or on” our hearts they will guide our thinking as well as our emotions. If we tie them around our necks, we keep them before us so that we cannot ignore them but be forced to step over them if we disobey.
Next, he gives the benefits derived from the first two portions of the counsel. If you observe the commandments given and walk in obedience to the teachings received binding them to your heart and keeping them before your eyes they do something positive and powerful.
- When You Walk About (Daily Life) They Will GUIDE YOU.
I don’t know about you but many times in life I have found myself faced with a choice and unless I had the sound teachings of the Bible and the moral moorings that came from my parents I would have erred. Oh, there are times I erred anyway but not without kicking against the pricks and ultimate come back to that place of my roots. The Word is my Guide and enables me to make right choices when the choice is not clear.
- When You Sleep, They Will WATCH OVER YOU.
Imagine have a divine guard 24/7/365. Remember the 91st Psalm’s promise that the Angels of God would watch over us and keep us in all our ways. We are told that they will guide us. Remember the words of Jesus that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth. Remember the Promise of Scripture that the Word is both a Light and a Lamp illuminating our pathway so that we can walk in the right direction. Godly instruction will provide an anchor and a spiritual GPS so that we can find the right way and walk in it. It is a spiritual security system that alerts us to danger and pitfalls.
- When You Awake, The Will TALK TO YOU.
They will speak to your conscience and your inner man. I like that thought that the godly instructions rooted in the Word of God will TALK TO ME. God’s Word, we are told is ALIVE and we read in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” THAT IS POWERFUL and when we have that Promise we can go through our daily lives in peace and find rest in the night as we sleep in the sweet slumber that His Peace affords.
Never despise godly instruction. You may not like it at the time but if it is rooted in the Word of God and can be applied to daily life it can and will become invaluable in times of decision. It will provide us with spiritual GPS to guide our steps, a spiritual security system to enable us to rest without fear of danger or intrusion, and will be our counselor giving us solid advice each day. THAT IS POWERFUL!
God, bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day that God has provided.